Senate candidate says Falmouth council attacked him over sign lettering

Posted Aug. 31, 2012, at 11:17 a.m.
Last modified Sept. 01, 2012, at 6:04 a.m.
Steve Woods
Steve Woods
TideSmart Global's headquarters in Falmouth.
TideSmart Global's headquarters in Falmouth.

FALMOUTH, Maine — A local business owner and chairman of the Yarmouth Town Council said the Falmouth Town Council “should be ashamed” after councilors reprimanded him at Monday’s meeting.

Steve Woods, who is also an independent candidate to replace U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, said councilors’ comments were “egregious” during their discussion over his business’ compliance with the Falmouth sign ordinance.

“Their comments almost sounded hostile; I was completely caught off guard,” said Woods, who owns TideSmart Global, a marketing company whose headquarters on Route 1 host the contentious sign. “I was sent a notice of the meeting and then I found out the next day, instead of deliberating the ordinance, the councilors took 40 minutes to disparage me, and by extension, my campaign.”

Woods said he did not attend the meeting because he thought the issue was minor and saw no reason he would have to attend.

According to the council agenda, the councilors were debating the “introduction of an amendment to the Zoning and Site Plan Review Ordinance to revise the requirements for Property Identification Sign.” The amendment would make “minor changes to the current language to accommodate this property.”

The councilors’ issue with the TideSmart sign is that size of the accent lettering for the word “Global,” which is underneath the TideSmart logo on the sign, is one inch too small.

At the meeting, Councilor Chris Orestis said he wanted to impose a punitive fine and “hurt” Woods to send a message that he must respect town laws.

Councilors eventually referred action on a fine against TideSmart to Town Hall staff.

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